Many Expected to Register Relationships in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Orlando officials and gay advocates expect a rush of same-sex couples at City Hall when a new domestic-partnership registry opens next month.
The City Clerk's Office tells the Orlando Sentinel that it's accepting appointments for couples to sign the registry. All appointments for opening day, Jan. 12, are full.
The registry doesn't bestow the same legal privileges of marriage or a civil union. But couples who record their relationships in the registry are entered in a government database and will be able to visit each other in the hospital or jail, make health-care decisions for an incapacitated partner and plan a partner's funeral.
The registry also is open to heterosexual partners. It only applies to hospitals and other institutions in Orlando, though people living outside the city can sign.

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